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SALEM, Ore. -- The governor Thursday signed two pieces of legislation that will extend unemployment benefits up to 26 weeks for Oregonians who have exhausted all other options.

Although we are on the path to economic recovery, there are thousands of Oregonians who are still struggling, said Governor John Kitzhaber. Extending unemployment benefits is a life-line to people in need right now.

The Oregon House and Senate gave unanimous approval earlier in the week.

Senate Bill 637 will allow Oregon to use $225 million in federal funds to extend unemployment benefits for 20 weeks. Nearly 50,000 people will be eligible to receive those additional benefits by the end of the year.

Senate Bill 638 will use $26 million from the State Unemployment Trust Fund to extend benefits for six weeks. This money will go to an estimated 17,500 workers whose benefits would otherwise expire in April.

Background: Ore. Senate votes to extend unemployment benefits

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